If you have a 4th degree tear but are continuing to suffer with faecal urgency or incontinence, it is possible that your repair was inadequate. If the standard of surgical treatment is found to be poor, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation as the victim of medical negligence.
To talk to a solicitor about claiming compensation for a poorly repaired fourth degree tear, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Our friendly team of solicitors will advise you on your legal rights.
Poor repair of 4th degree tear
There are occasions when a fourth degree tear is recognised and repaired by a senior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology, but this repair is not performed adequately.
A poor repair will almost certainly mean that a patient develops problems with defecation, particularly incontinence of wind and faeces, and the inability to defer the passing of a stool.
Such symptoms would, on the balance of probabilities, be avoided with an adequate and proper repair. This has been evidenced by a number of studies. Data from a series of studies reported by obstetrician and gynaecologist Abdul Sultan in 2007 revealed that 61% of patients after a properly conducted fourth degree tear repair have satisfactory incontinence.
Delayed repair of 4th degree tear
This is opposed to secondary repairs, which is when a surgical repair is performed after some delay. Ordinarily this delay is due to a failure to diagnose the injury, or because of an inadequate repair.
Secondary repairs are inferior to those of a properly conducted primary repair. The key difference is that a primary repair is undertaken when the tissues are fresh. This means the structures can be easily identified and with appropriate technique excellent outcomes can be achieved. On the other hand secondary repairs are very difficult and results can be poor.
Speak to a legal expert
A legal expert will be able to advise you whether or not you have been the victim of medical negligence. Every case is different, but generally a solicitor will consider the following question:
‘If the patient had undergone a primary repair of the tear performed to an adequate standard, then on the balance of probabilities would she have made a full recovery and not have suffered with any sphincter disturbance after the delivery?’
If the answer is yes, the patient would have been asymptomatic but for the actions of medical practitioners, there will be grounds for a claim.
To talk to a solicitor about your claim, please contact us today.